Tag Archives: Exclusives

Today in Hip-Hop History: The Pharcyde Drops Their Debut LP ‘Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde’ 28 Years Ago

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On this date in 1992, J-Swift, Fatlip, Imani, Bootie Brown, and Slimkid3 took the world on a ride on the “Pharcyde” with their first LP, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. Released on the Cali based Delicious Vinyl label and produced by former group member J-Swift, Bizarre Ride introduced Hip Hop fans to an alternative to the gangsta rap that was so prevalent and expected from the West Coast.

The 16-track album produced tracks that their core followers may be familiar with, however, none of the songs were as popular as the kaleidoscopic “Passin Me By”. All three emcees brought their own tragic comedies of “the one that got away”; love lives gone awry. The eccentric classic was so popular, it appeared on the soundtrack to the 1999 Adam Sandler silver screen gem Big Daddy.

This certified gold classic broke many boundaries for the West Coast and Hip Hop in general as we all were shaken from the stereotype of the type of music that was bred on the “left” coast. Salute to the entire Pharcyde crew for bringing Hip Hop this timeless masterpiece!

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: The Pharcyde Drops Their Debut LP ‘Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde’ 28 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: RZA Released His Debut Solo LP ‘Bobby Digital In Stereo’ 22 Years Ago

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On this day in Hip Hop history in 1998, the leader of the world-renowned Wu-Tang Clan released his first solo album Bobby Digital In Stereo.

This project came late in RZA’s career after the success of the Wu-Tang Clan had been plentiful. Serving as a soundtrack to an unreleased blaxploitation martial arts film by RZA titled Bobby Digital: The Digital Bullet, the project featured a new experimental sound that was not like the usual edgy street vibe that Wu-Tang solidified in the game.

The album went gold, selling 500,000 copies by 1999, and received mixed reviews from music critics. For this album, RZA utilized a different production and vocal style. Instead of the sample-heavy beats that made his production popular throughout the 90s on fellow Wu-Tang Clan members’ projects, this project was composed of mostly keyboard-driven sounds which Bob Digi eloquently called the “Digital Orchestra”.

The inspiration for this album came from RZA’s love for comic books and yearning to live out his childhood dream of becoming a superhero in the projects. The lyrics of the project follow a loose storyline of RZA’s endeavors as Bobby Digital. His goal as Bobby Digital was to enlighten the people of the project to the poisons of the hood that surrounded them every day.

He created Bobby Digital to personify his wild and crazy life before his musical success because, during the growth of the Wu-Tang Clan, RZA became a musical hermit and spent the majority of his time perfecting his craft and not out enjoying the spoils of his lifestyle. Bobby Digital served as a sort of cathartic alter ego through whom RZA could unleash a side of himself that had laid dormant during his rise to fame and search for enlightenment.

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: RZA Released His Debut Solo LP ‘Bobby Digital In Stereo’ 22 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today In Hip Hop History: Nas’ Dropped His Fourth Album ‘Nastradamus’ 21 Years Ago

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On this date in 1999, Queensbridge King Nas released his fourth full length studio LP entitled Nastradamus on the Ill Will/Columbia imprint. The 15 track album was due to be released as a follow up to his previous I Am LP, but due to bootlegging, Nas added additional recorded songs specifically for this project.

With singles such as “Project Windows” featuring the legendary Ron Isley and the crossover single “You Owe Me” featuring Ginuwine, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA within a month of its release.Production from the likes of Timbaland, Mobb Deep’s Havoc, Premier and Dame Grease, this album appealed to the streets and the charts.

Salute to Nas for this valuable piece of Hip Hop history!

The post Today In Hip Hop History: Nas’ Dropped His Fourth Album ‘Nastradamus’ 21 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Snoop Dogg Drops Debut Album ‘Doggystyle’ 27 Years Ago

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On this date in 1993, Calvin Broadus Jr. aka Snoop Doggy Dogg released his highly anticipated first album Doggystyle on Death Row Records. This was the label’s first full-length project by a solo artist, which was piggybacking on the success of Death Row’s last release, The Chronic, the Dr. Dre album where many had just heard Snoop for the first time.

Doggystyle, which was produced exclusively by Snoop’s mentor, Dr. Dre, huddled around the concept of the “dogg”, with the animated cover and cartoon insert of a street-wise hound that wanted by the opps and the “bitches” for his “doggystyle”, which of course, is a famous sex position.

Some of the album’s leading tracks include the x-rated “It Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)” featuring childhood friend Nate Dogg and then recently formed Dogg Pound, Daz and Kurupt, the Slick Rick ode “Lodi Dodi” and the world-famous alcoholic anthem “Gin And Juice”.

Even with a four mic rating, Source staff writer Reginald Dennis said that the album escaped the coveted Five Mic rating because he felt like it was “rushed”, but nonetheless, with the introduction of such a monumental artist coupled with the authenticity of the gang-ridden West Coast streets, this album is by far one of the most pivotal albums of the 90s, even before the East Coast/West Coast rivalry, which came at least two years later. Salute to Snoop, Dre, the Dogg Pound, The Lady Of Rage, RBX, Suge and the rest of the legendary Death Row for putting together this classic album!

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The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Snoop Dogg Drops Debut Album ‘Doggystyle’ 27 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip Hop History: Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘The W’ Album Turns 20 Years Old!

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On this day in Hip Hop history Wu Tang Clan releases their third studio LP The W. As the follow up to the immensely successful Wu Tang Forever, this album fell a little short of its predecessors success but continued in growing the Wu’s legacy as a whole.

At the time of the album’s production and release, Wu Tang member ODB was facing a legal-saga with seemingly no end. Although that may have stopped Dirt Dog’s ability to grace the album more than once, it did not however derail the Clan’s creative process and ability to execute. Much to the tone of their past work, The W once again proved that Wu-Tang is lyrically the strongest rap collective of all time. As far as production however, RZA toned down the intricate instrumentation used on Forever and went back to the 36 Chambers style of soulful samples coupled with melancholic  drum patterns. This back to basic model allowed the Clan to stand out lyrically as they once did.

Commercially, the album was an international success. It peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200 as well as #1 in the UK and Ireland. The album won numerous Album of the Year awards from esteemed publications and is herald as one of Hip Hop’s greater albums.

The post Today in Hip Hop History: Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘The W’ Album Turns 20 Years Old! appeared first on The Source.

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Happy 50th Birthday to the Late Phife Dawg! Check Out The Top 5 Phife Verses Of All Time

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On this day in 1970, the second lyrical half of A Tribe Called Quest, Phife Dawg was born. Born Malik Isaac Taylor in Queens, New York, Phife was one-fourth of one of the most influential groups in Hip-Hop culture; A Tribe Called Quest. It’s been almost four years since Phife lost his battle with diabetes, however, his music will live on for eternity.

On many of ATCQ’s tracks, fans have always rightfully celebrated Q-Tip’s lyricism, but rarely gave Phife Dawg his proper due. In the posthumous honor of his birthday, we have put together a list of his top five hottest verses to shine a light on the unsung lyrical phenom that is Phife Dawg.

5. “Electric Relaxation” On this standout track from the album Midnight Marauders, Phife and The Abstract went toe to toe, trading off verse without a hook until the song ended, with standout bars like, “Let me hit it from the back, girl I won’t catch a hernia/Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s Furniture..”and let’s not forget, “I like ‘em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian/Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation..”

4. “La Schmoove” This was a featured verse from Phife Dawg on a track by Brooklyn rap tongue twisters Fu Schnickens. On this track, Phife had the third verse, yet opened it like it was his own song saying,

Now here I go, once again with the ill flow/Other MC’s that rap, their style is so-so..”

3. “Scenario” Being one of the most popular songs on A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory album, Phife Dawg’s opening verse is one that rings in the ears of many rap fans.

“Ayo, Bo knows this, and Bo knows that/ But bo don’t know jack cause Bo can’t rap//Well what do you know, the Di-Dawg, is first up to bat/No batteries included and no strings attached.”

2. “Award Tour” Another cut from Midnight Marauders, Award Tour was a huge success for A Tribe Called Quest. It also houses some of Phife Dawg’s strongest metaphors.
“I have a quest to have a mic in my hand/without that, it’s like Kryptonite and Superman/So Shaheed come in with the sugar cuts//Phife Dawg’s my name, but on stage, call me Dynomut..t”

“So, next time that you think you want something here/Make something dope or take that garbage to St.Elsewhere..”

1. “Buggin Out” Coming from their most popular album, this is regarded as Phife’s illest bars. Phife Dawg spits two of the hardest verses on the album on this one record.
“Yo microphone check one, two, what is this?/The five foot assassin with the roughneck business/I float like gravity, never had a cavity/Got more rhymes than the Winans got family..”

“You soar off to another world, deep in your mind/But people seem to take that, as being unkind/’Oh yo he’s acting stank,’ really on the regal?/a man of the fame not a man of the people/believe that if you want but I tell you this much/riding on the train with no dough, sucks..”

The post Happy 50th Birthday to the Late Phife Dawg! Check Out The Top 5 Phife Verses Of All Time appeared first on The Source.

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Happy 50th Birthday to the Late Phife Dawg! Check Out The Top 5 Phife Verses Of All Time

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On this day in 1970, the second lyrical half of A Tribe Called Quest, Phife Dawg was born. Born Malik Isaac Taylor in Queens, New York, Phife was one-fourth of one of the most influential groups in Hip-Hop culture; A Tribe Called Quest. It’s been almost four years since Phife lost his battle with diabetes, however, his music will live on for eternity.

On many of ATCQ’s tracks, fans have always rightfully celebrated Q-Tip’s lyricism, but rarely gave Phife Dawg his proper due. In the posthumous honor of his birthday, we have put together a list of his top five hottest verses to shine a light on the unsung lyrical phenom that is Phife Dawg.

5. “Electric Relaxation” On this standout track from the album Midnight Marauders, Phife and The Abstract went toe to toe, trading off verse without a hook until the song ended, with standout bars like, “Let me hit it from the back, girl I won’t catch a hernia/Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s Furniture..”and let’s not forget, “I like ‘em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian/Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation..”

4. “La Schmoove” This was a featured verse from Phife Dawg on a track by Brooklyn rap tongue twisters Fu Schnickens. On this track, Phife had the third verse, yet opened it like it was his own song saying,

Now here I go, once again with the ill flow/Other MC’s that rap, their style is so-so..”

3. “Scenario” Being one of the most popular songs on A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory album, Phife Dawg’s opening verse is one that rings in the ears of many rap fans.

“Ayo, Bo knows this, and Bo knows that/ But bo don’t know jack cause Bo can’t rap//Well what do you know, the Di-Dawg, is first up to bat/No batteries included and no strings attached.”

2. “Award Tour” Another cut from Midnight Marauders, Award Tour was a huge success for A Tribe Called Quest. It also houses some of Phife Dawg’s strongest metaphors.
“I have a quest to have a mic in my hand/without that, it’s like Kryptonite and Superman/So Shaheed come in with the sugar cuts//Phife Dawg’s my name, but on stage, call me Dynomut..t”

“So, next time that you think you want something here/Make something dope or take that garbage to St.Elsewhere..”

1. “Buggin Out” Coming from their most popular album, this is regarded as Phife’s illest bars. Phife Dawg spits two of the hardest verses on the album on this one record.
“Yo microphone check one, two, what is this?/The five foot assassin with the roughneck business/I float like gravity, never had a cavity/Got more rhymes than the Winans got family..”

“You soar off to another world, deep in your mind/But people seem to take that, as being unkind/’Oh yo he’s acting stank,’ really on the regal?/a man of the fame not a man of the people/believe that if you want but I tell you this much/riding on the train with no dough, sucks..”

The post Happy 50th Birthday to the Late Phife Dawg! Check Out The Top 5 Phife Verses Of All Time appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Mobb Deep Released Their ‘Hell On Earth’ LP 24 Years Ago

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The dynamic duo of Mobb Deep from QB released their third full-length studio LP 24 years ago today.

On this date in 1996, the “infamous” crew from Mobb Deep dropped album number three entitled Hell On Earth. The Mobb-produced project was released under the epic Loud/RCA imprint introduced many of the extended QB/Mobb family including raspy-voiced Twin Gambino, Big Noyd, and a few others. Hav and P enlisted some of the game’s top dogs of the time for this album including their QB brethren Nas, Wu’s Raekwon the Chef, and Method Man.

This certified gold classic was unquestionably a part of the East Coast arsenal against the West Coast during the height of the rivalry, with tracks such as the title track, “Still Shinin’”, and of course, “Drop A Gem On ‘Em”, sending overt threats at Tupac Shakur and his cohorts. Other standout joints include “G.O.D. Pt.III”, where Prodigy drops some street knowledge, “Blood Sport”, and “Give It Up Fast” featuring Noyd and Nas.
This album was also the project that confirmed Havoc’s skills as a producer, which led to several other projects outside of the Mobb.

Salute to P, Hav, Noyd, Gotti, Twin, Ty Nitty, Nas, Rae, Meth, Steve Rifkind, and everyone else involved with this classic album!

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Mobb Deep Released Their ‘Hell On Earth’ LP 24 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Larry Davis Shoots 6 Corrupt NYPD Officers And Escapes 34 Years Ago

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Some say he was 50 Cent before 50 Cent. Some called him “the Robin Hood of The Ghetto”, while the establishment dubbed him “the crack city terminator.” In the hood, his solution is considered the only possible answer to a continuous epidemic of police brutality. Some of your favorite rappers from French Montana to Lloyd Banks to Jay-Z have name-dropped him on their tracks and BET felt he was so important to American culture that their American Gangster series had to open with him, but only an educated few know why the name Larry Davis continues to ring bells more than three decades after that fateful night in November of ’86.

On this date in 1986, a 19-year-old Bronx man by the name of Larry Davis was engaged in a shootout with over 25 NYPD officers who came after him in what appeared to be a murderous hit. For those that don’t know what makes this such a unique story is that Davis not only survived but escaped unharmed long enough to tell his story to the FBI. Larry Davis was acquitted of the police shootings(six officers were critically injured), which was the only time anyone was acquitted for shooting an officer of the law in U.S. history.

READ MORE: The Death Of Larry Davis 10 Years Later: Is This The Only Answer To Police Brutality?

Check out the first-hand account from someone who was with Davis on that cold night in the Bronx at Larry’s sister’s apartment on Webster Avenue.

Words: Shams DaBaron

November 19, 1986 is a night that forever changed the course of my life. It was the height of the crack epidemic on this cold winter night when I was meeting with my partner and best friend Larry Davis. We were discussing the trip we were taking the next day to California to avoid the heat he was experiencing from some corrupt cops he sold drugs for. For weeks he had been laying low knowing they had a bounty on his head. At the time no one could be trusted. The police were rolling up on anyone associated with Larry to find out where he was.

On this night, I sat with him in his sister’s apartment discussing our plans for the trip we were taking and making final arrangements with one of my associates to restructure some of the business dealings in the street. Larry was in the process of extricating himself from out of that lifestyle of dealing drugs and we were going to refocus our energies totally toward dealing in music. The decision was made months ago, but became complicated once Larry made his plans known to others and the corrupt cops caught wind of his decision to step off with their money. They then put a bounty on his head.

READ MORE: The Larry Davis Story: Is This The Solution To Police Brutality?

As he was explaining what was going on in the streets to my associate, the associate became very scared and verbalized his fears to us, while asking Larry if he himself was in fear for his life. Larry’s reply, “Well, no I’m not scared. The only person I fear is God… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wanna die, but if it’s my time to die, then so be it…” At this point I’m ready to tune him out and dismiss his words as Larry just talking mess… But then he continued, “One thing, though, I will say is… if they come and kill me, I guarantee you that before I go, I’m a take one of those pigs down with me.”

Hearing him use the term “pigs” is what really caught my attention. It showed that even in the most negative of situations – having been a drug dealer for a group of corrupt NYC cops – Larry was still in some way affected by the pro-Black organizations that gave birth to our generation. The seeds of their struggles were planted in us whether we knew it or not. And to me, it seems, that on that fateful night of November 19, 1986, the spirit of those freedom fighters, and the spirit of that movement, guided his thoughts and actions and helped him overcome the overwhelming force that came to assassinate him.

What is even more significant and what we must keep in mind while Remembering Larry Davis is that on that night of November 19, 1986, Larry became what famed lawyer William Kunstler called “A symbol of resistance to police violence.”

Shams DaBaron
Larry’s Childhood Friend

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Larry Davis Shoots 6 Corrupt NYPD Officers And Escapes 34 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today In Hip Hop History: Tupac Shakur Arrested In NYC On Alleged Sexual Assault Charge 27 Years Ago

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On this date in 1993, Tupac Amaru Shakur and three other men were arrested and charged with sexual assault after a woman claimed that Shakur and the three men raped her in his hotel room. Even though the cultural icon denied he himself had ever touched her without consent, Shakur was still convicted a year later and sentenced to 18 months to ​4 12 years in Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.

Ayanna Johnson claimed that she did give consensual oral sex to Shakur on the dance floor and in the hotel room on the night of the incident, but returned to the hotel the next day to say she was raped by all four men. On The Arsenio Hall Show, Shakur said he was hurt that “a woman would accuse me of taking something from her.”

Eight months into his sentence during a pending appeal, Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records, arranged for posting of his $1.4 million bond. he signed to Death Row Records alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg…and the rest is Hip Hop history!

The post Today In Hip Hop History: Tupac Shakur Arrested In NYC On Alleged Sexual Assault Charge 27 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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